What are the Differences Between Vermicomposting with Worms and Hot Composting?

Many of our customers ask, “What’s the difference between vermicomposting with worms and regular composting?” Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we are experts on composting with worms. Let’s explore how these processes are similar, and how they differ. Which method is more convenient? How can you produce high-quality organic fertilizer for your garden and lawn? Which is fastest? How to Set Up Vermicomposting vs. Hot Composting Vermicomposting harnesses the power of worms to break down organic matter quickly. Regular “hot” composting may attract a few wild worms. However, “hot” composting produces more heat than vermicomposting. Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will kill Red Worms. Both methods break down organic waste into fertilizer. Most kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and yard waste are suitable for composting. The main difference is in the setup of the composting bin or pile. Regular “hot” composting involves throwing organic waste into a bin or pile. The material starts to break down using an aerobic process. The compost pile heats up. The ideal temperature for hot composting is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At 200+ degrees, it can even produce steam! However, temperatures high enough to steam will kill beneficial microorganisms. Therefore, this type of compost needs to be turned and lightly moistened on a regular basis. This means you lift the organic matter and introduce air with pitchfork or shovel on a regular basis. You need some strength to do this. Or get a tumbler-style composter that you can turn using a crank. Vermicomposting is usually done …

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Vermicomposting: How to Compost with Worms

Composting kitchen and garden scraps using worms is faster than without worms. Adding a bag of composting worms results in richer compost. This dark compost is treasured by gardeners because it contains soil nutrients and living bacteria. Composting with worms is called “vermicomposting.” Vermicomposting is easy, and it’s a fun hobby too! Children and adults embrace their wiggly helpers as working pets. Vermicomposting is also great for the environment. Instead of tossing out scraps vegetation, you create free fertilizer. Let’s find out the benefits of vermicomposting, and how to get started. Why Compost with Worms In nature, worms help break down organic matter into simpler components. They are nature’s recyclers! Worms eat discarded vegetation and excrete a dark material called “humus” (worm poop). Humus contains valuable

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Earth Day Workplace Composting Program

A workplace composting program could turn trash into treasure. Earth Day is the best day to start a workplace composting program. Ever thought about how much food scrap trash your workplace generates? The break room generates coffee grounds and tea bags. Left-overs and spoiled food from meals and snacks stink up the trash bins. And food service workplaces generate mountains of wasted organic matter. Human resources departments are often looking for projects for Earth Day, which falls on April 22 each year. A workplace composting program is an ideal Earth Day project. Some workplaces calculate that separating trash saves

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Spring Cleaning for Your Composting Bin

With warmer weather coming, people who compost with worms are anticipating the planting season! Gardeners are making lists and garden layouts on graph paper or computers. Lawn owners are contemplating whether to sow more seed and when to fertilize. Meanwhile, the composting worms are munching away, making compost from kitchen scraps. It’s nearly time for spring cleaning at the vermicomposting bin! The composter’s location has an impact on harvesting. The composter is either indoors or outdoors. Outdoor Composters In cold winter climates, outdoor composters have been

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Composting Worm Feeding Guide: Best and Worst Foods

What are the best foods to feed composting worms? What are the worst foods? People who compost with worms face these questions every day. Fortunately, Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has this Worm Feeding Guide! Vermicomposting is easy if you know the right foods to feed the worms — and the foods to avoid. Qualities of Ideal Foods for Worms Composting worms are hungry for your kitchen left-overs, garden waste, and coffee grounds! The best foods for worms come from plants. This includes grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Plant matter is filled with nutrients and vitamins that worms need. Their excrement, called “humus,” contains digested nutrients and earth-friendly bacteria. Humus makes an ideal fertilizer for growing new plants. Worms do not have teeth. Their little mouths take in the

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Composting Kitchen Surpluses: Eggshells, Coffee Grounds, and Orange Peels

At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we get questions about how to compost three common kitchen scraps: eggshells, coffee grounds, and orange peels. These are all popular foods and beverages. On average, we consume approximately 1 egg and 2 cups of coffee per day. That’s a lot of scraps! Fortunately, composting worms can take the burden off landfills and incinerators. These and many other kitchen scraps can be turned into free fertilizer by composting them with worms. Composting can be successful at any scale. Single apartment dwellers, large families, restaurants, coffee shops and even institutions can compost unwanted organic materials. If you don’t already have a composting program

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What do to with Kitchen Scraps: Reduce, Compost, and Re-Grow

Your kitchen trash has a significant amount of organic material. Much of this is compostable. Hauling organic matter off for landfill internment or incineration is a huge waste of energy and potential. Can kitchen scraps be re-grown into new food plants easily? What can you do to reduce the production of kitchen scraps and wasted food? Can composting help? Re-Grow Plants You can save money and perpetuate the chain of life by re-growing plants. Cutting vegetables in a certain way and cultivating the clippings results in new baby plants. These can be eaten and they are free. Chop the bottom off celery and place in a bowl with a small amount of warm water. Place in direct sunlight. When the leaves start to thicken and grow on the base, transplant to the soil in your garden, greenhouse or container. Left-over whole lettuce, cabbage and Bok Choy leaves can be placed in a bowl with a very small amount of water in the bottom. Place in sunlight. Mist the leaves with water every other day. In three to four days, roots will appear. Plant in the soil.

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Indoor Composting with Worms: 4 Tips from Uncle Jim

Vermicomposting is a great way to reduce trash and make free fertilizer. Composting worms will eat most of the inedible scraps from the kitchen, as well as many left-overs. This is better for the environment than tossing it into the trash. The result is dark, rich organic fertilizer. Worm excrement is treasured by gardeners because it helps plants grow. While most composting is done outdoors, you can run a successful composting program indoors. Some worm owners move operations indoors during the winter. Others do indoor composting year-round for convenience or due to lack of suitable outdoor space. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has these four tips for successful indoor composting.

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How to Avoid Over-Feeding Composting Worms

If you are composting with worms, you need to feed them the right quantity of food scraps. How much food is too much? Over-feeding your composting worms can cause problems in the bin, including odors, acidity, excess moisture, pests and sick worms. What should you do to prevent and address these issues? Here are Uncle Jim’s guidelines for feeding the right amount of scraps to composting worms. Quick Check: How Much Food is In There? Dig around in the bin. How much undigested organic material is in there? The worms should start working on a feeding within a few days and finish it within 1 to 2 weeks. If you see large amounts of food, you are probably overfeeding. Under ideal conditions, worms can eat their weight in scraps per day. So if you have 1 pound of worms, you can theoretically feed them 1 pounds of scraps. However, we recommend you play it safe by feeding an amount they can handle every 2 or 3 days. Over-Feeding Causes Odors The most noticeable sign of overfeeding is a foul odor. Worm bins should have an earthy smell. If your nose is offended, your worm bin needs improvement. The worms’ job is to eat the

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A Guide to Successful Indoor Composting with Worms

Vermicomposting can be done almost anywhere, indoors and out. Using worms to break down your food scraps is great for the environment. Composting results in a dark, rich fertilizer that is perfect for gardening. Composting indoors is a bit trickier, but it can be done successfully. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm offers this easy-to-use guide to indoor composting with worms. Reasons why people compost indoors include: want convenient indoor access to the composting bin concern that composting worms outdoors won’t survive the winter (although they might lay eggs or could be replaced with a fresh bag of worms in the spring) want to continue strong composting program year-round, in spite of cold or heat apartment or city dweller with no yard no room on property for an outdoor bin It is possible to compost outdoors without

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